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    Member RetiredTop1833's Avatar
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    New to me 1945 BSA Shirley (T) with Questions

    Hello again. I recently posted about my No. 32 Mk 1 optic, but thought I'd share what I have for a rifle with all of you and see what you may know about it that I am missing.

    I was wondering if someone more knowledgeable than I could give my rifle a shot as to why I have a few mismatched pieces on it. The rifle is a 1945 BSA Shirley built No. 4 Mk I (T). At present, here is what I “THINK” know about the Enfield I just picked up:

    - It bears the M47C markings on the socket, safety, bottom metal, bolt head, and barrel.
    - The socket, barrel, bolt handle, rear-upper handguard, and butt all have matching serial numbers.
    - The barrel has the correct date on it, bears London Proof House markings from 1954 – 1968 according to the in-depth video by Ian McCullom, and has all of the proofing data on the end of the barrel right by the muzzle (I found this somewhat less common). It also has several inspector’s markings on it, I am assuming one is from BSA Shirley and one perhaps from Holland and Holland?
    - The receiver has the “Englandicon” marking required for pre-1968 export to the U.S., and bears the London Proof House stamp again (although weak). It also has the “T” and “S” where they are supposed to be, plus it has the Holland and Holland inspector’s marks at both sides of the rear.
    - The socket has the M47C, year of manufacture, serial, and the “TR” stamped onto it on the port side. There is nothing stamped on the other side.
    - There are no import marks, or foreign stampings on the rifle. I doubt it saw service outside of a British unit, but I may be wrong.

    ***Here is where I get a bit lost, and I wish I could know the stories of where this rifle has been.

    * My rifle has a November, 1942 made Long Branch forestock complete with Canadianicon acceptance mark. The forestock is obviously not original, neither is the magazine and king screw as the triangular swivel was not with the rifle. In addition, the forward upper handguard belonged to a standard No. 4 Mk 1 as there is no penciled in serial number to the rifle, only the British broad arrow. This suggests to me that something got a little busted at one point and a hasty repair was made. There is no marking (FTR or otherwise) suggesting a factory repair that I see…except that there may be a six-pointed star that is all but gone on the underside of the wrist were some markings should be. The butt is serialized and original to the rifle, but may be sanded a little unfortunately (I don't know what I did with the photo detailing that serial number either). I don’t know why the butt would have been sanded though as the forestock is in somewhat rough condition and bears no sign of any kind of sanding.

    Is it feasible that the rifle may have been given donor parts from a Canadian rifle to keep it up and running? I have read a bit by both Laidlericon and Skennertonicon, suggesting a lot of field repairs and cannibalization in order to keep guns up and in the fight, which is not too dissimilar from what I experienced during my deployments. If this is the case, it may give a huge clue as to where this rifle has been. ** I would love to hear the thoughts of some with more experience in this matter than I**
    This has been a ton of fun to research so far.

    Photo attempt again.
    No. 4 Mk 1 (T) | Flickr
    Last edited by Badger; 05-31-2018 at 11:30 AM.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    This is the answer I got for the Star & V mark on the Butt of my 1944 M47C BSA T;
    https://www.google.com/url?q=http://...bgYGn2FQ3ZcqkO

    Also your pics won't allow us to view if you search on site how to do it its a piece of cake I usually dump the pics on my comps desk top & edit them then load from there.

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    Quick and dirty explanation...
    The rifle was sporterized (front wood cut and handguards tossed) at one time and wood was purchased and installed at a later date.
    I've seen more than one like that and had a few over the years.

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    Yep, & I suspect the star's been on that butt since it was brand new. See link to previous thread.

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    Star mark.....



    Here are a couple of the butts I have that appear to have been struck with the star from new. The marks from the butt socket of a rifle on one of them are recent (me).

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    Member RetiredTop1833's Avatar
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    I absolutely appreciate all of the input!

    I do suspect that you are correct in that the gun was sporterized at one point...However the rear-upper handguard appears original as it has the penciled-in serial number per Captain Stevens information. Since the front-upper handguard is obviously a replacement, I just wonder why someone would throw away one piece and not the other unless they wanted to make a quasi-L42A1?

    I would have also thought that perhaps the original magazine and triangular sling swivel would have been kept even if it were sporterized. Who knows? That is the fun of getting one of these and researching into it.

    Thanks again for the input!

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    On some sporters people only discard the front guard & keep the rear one, held in place by the barrel band, as you suggest, in a sort of L42 style.


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